Veteran lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar has been facing flak for a suggestion he made on Thursday in the wake of an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow Sri Lanka’s example in banning the burqa on ground of national security.
Akhtar has suggested that he was not averse to enacting a law on burqa ban if it was accompanied with a similar action against the ghunghat (veil worn by Hindu women) system, predominant in Rajasthan.
“If you want to bring a law banning burqa here (in India) and if it is someone’s view I have no objection. But before the last phase of election in Rajasthan, this government should announce a ban on the practice of ‘ghunghat’ (covering of the face by Hindu women) in that state,” said Akhtar.
“I feel that ghunghat should go and the burqa should go. I will be happy,” he added.
He also said,”Brother, I have little knowledge of the burqa as there were working women in my family and I haven’t seen the practice at my home.”
Ever since the editorial created news and drew sharp reactions from all across the country, a senior Sena leader clarified that the article was not officially endorsed or supported by the party, which is in alliance with the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Akhtar, who is also being targeted for his views, took to social media to further explain his stand.
“Some people are trying to distort my statement . I have said that may be in Sri Lanka it is done for security reasons but actually it is required for women empowerment. covering the face should be stopped whether naqab or ghoonghat,” he further tweeted.
Some people are trying to distort my statement . I have said that may be in Sri Lanka it is done for security reasons but actually it is required for women empowerment . covering the face should be stopped whether naqab or ghoonghat .
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) May 3, 2019